The Head of the Delegation of the European Union and the EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ambassador Johann Sattler, handed over 45,000 PCR tests and swabs to the Institute of Public Health of Republika Srpska in Banja Luka today.
This donation is worth 72,000 euros and is part of the European Union’s overall assistance for the urgent needs of medical institutions across the country in the fight against COVID-19.
“Why are we doing this? Why donations like this? First of all, because the entire region of the Western Balkans and Bosnia and Herzegovina as an accession country are certainly our closest partners, and we always help partners and friends who are in need. The second reason concerns immunization – at the beginning of this week, during the visit of Commissioner Varhelji, we welcomed the first delivery of over 200,000 vaccine doses donated by the EU, because no one is safe until everyone is safe,” said Ambassador Sattler.
The handover of the donation was attended by the President of Republika Srpska Željka Cvijanović, the Director of the Institute of Public Health of Republika Srpska Branislav Zeljković, the Ambassador of Austria Urlike Hartmann, the Ambassador of Germany Margret Webber and the Ambassador of Sweden Johanna Strömquist.
“I am grateful for the numerous projects that the European Union has implemented in our municipalities, in cooperation with our institutions, both with institutions in the field of health and in any other areas where that support is necessary. It is always a pleasure for me when any signs of solidarity and cooperation are shown. It is no longer just a matter of how much funding or what quantities of items we receive. Gestures that we show towards each other are more important and show that when it comes to a big or even a small problem, we solve it better if we are together“, said Cvijanović.
The total value of medical equipment so far donated by the European Union to medical institutions in Republika Srpska is around 2 million euros.
“This is a big donation for Republika Srpska when we talk about diagnostic material because we talk about 22,500 real time PCR tests for coronavirus and 22,520 viral transport media, which are used for sampling. We continue to perform diagnostics and testing for the presence of the coronavirus, which is one of the basic rules for creating epidemiological measures in the coming period“, said Zeljković.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the European Union has provided essential medical equipment, including respirators, X-rays, ultrasound and ECG devices, PCR tests and personal protective equipment to improve the health care of BiH citizens and enable medical staff to better cope with the challenges of the pandemic.
In cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which coordinates the procurement of equipment, the European Union will continue to provide support to health institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the coming months.